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repeal the eight

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With a date for the referendum finally set, the conversation around the eight amendment is louder than ever. 

As both sides prepare to kick off their campaigns, more and more influencers are beginning to voice their stance on the topic 

Jen Morris, or Too Dolly Makeup as she's known to her followers online, recently broke her silence on the subject in an emotional Twitter thread, explaining how a personal battle with fertility shaped her and opinion, before subsequently changing her mind. 

At just 17-years-old, Jen had her ovaries removed over fears that she would develop cancer in a matter of years. 

Faced with the reality that she would never be able to have conceive a child, she admitted how she struggled to accept how someone could willingly make the decision to terminate a pregnancy. 

Understandably, it took Jen a long time to disconnect her personal experience from the greater picture, admitting that for a time she thought she people were just "throwing a child away". 

 

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Repealing the Eight Amendment may not be enough to guarantee abortion without restriction, the government has heard.

Leo Varadkar has said the government is considering adding another line into the Constitution after the Attorney-General Seamus Wolfe warned that it may contain other articles that protect the lif of the unborn.

The Taoiseach has revealed they are awaiting advice before moving forward on the issue.

“That's something we're awaiting advice from the Attorney-General about,” he explained.

“Because we would find ourselves in a very strange situation if we repeal the 8th amendment only to find out there are other rights to life that exist in other parts of the Constitution – that might then make any legislation we pass unconstitutional.”

The Dáil is due to hear statements from TDs on Wednesday and Thursday in relation to the recommendations put forward in the Oireachtas Committee report.

The Taoiseach is said to be awaiting the final wording of the bill before revealing his stance in the issue.

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A referendum on the Eight Amendment will take place in May or June of 2018, says Leo Varadkar.

The Taoiseach has today told the Dáil that the government has agreed an “indicative timeline” for the highly-anticipated referendum.

The announcement comes amid fears that the special Oireachtas committee tasked with considering proposals to repeal the Eight Amendment will not have completed its work by the Christmas deadline.

In the case that the deadline is not met, the delay in legislation will see the date for the referendum pushed back.

As many as eight referendums will be held before the summer of 2019 including votes on women in the home, blasphemy, and liberalising divorce laws.

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Currently, women who reside in Northern Ireland are not eligible to receive free abortions on the NHS, despite being citizens of the United Kingdom.

However, the UK's highest court is to rule on a legal battle around this issue after a case was brought forward by a 20-year-old woman and her mother.

The woman at the centre of the appeal was just 15-years-old when she and her mother travelled to Manchester in October 2012.

She was told she would have to pay hundreds of pounds for a termination as she was not entitled to the free services.

The mother and daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had originally lost their action in the London High Courts when a judge ruled that the exclusion was lawful in May 2014.

They then suffered another defeat at the Court of Appeal in 2015.

The Supreme Court's deputy president Lady Hale and four other justices are ruling on their challenge against that earlier decision.

During proceedings last year, the justices heard how the women of Northern Ireland were being treated as “second-class citizens.”

Stephen Cragg QC (Queen's Counsel), for the mother and daughter, told the court: " They live in the UK, but – unlike all other women and girls in the UK – they are at risk of the most serious criminal penalty if they procure an abortion in their own area."

He also pointed out that  "unlike all other women and girls in the UK", they "cannot access abortion services through the NHS free of charge", adding: "In terms of reproductive rights, they are second-class citizens."

The news comes following statistics published by the UK Department of Health showing that 3,265 women from the Republic of Ireland and 724 women from Northern Ireland travelled to the UK for terminations in 2016.   

Feature Image: The Independent

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The Citizens Assembly met this weekend for the final time as the assembly continued to reconsider Ireland's controversial constitutional restrictions on abortion.

And it looks like everything is about to change, with the majority voting for access to abortions without restrictions.

Various members have been tweeting about it on social media today, with many praising the assembly for finally coming to the result that mostly everybody wanted.

It's a massive win for the pro-choice movement, which saw a 64 per cent favour in access to abortions without restrictions.

And everyone is rejoicing on Twitter:

The Citizens’ Assembly have made clear that the Oireachtas must assume responsibility for legislating for abortion.  That’s according to the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Commenting today, Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition, said: “The Assembly members have recommended this matter be put fairly and squarely in the hands of the legislators – where it should always have been. 

“Our politicians know it is their duty, as members of the Oireachtas, to make laws.  When circumstances and public opinion are clearly demonstrating an urgent need for new legislation, they cannot shirk their responsibility. 

“The Government cynically established the Citizens’ Assembly to avoid making difficult decisions themselves.  Through their hard work and dedication, the Assembly members concluded what the Government should have known all along: that is the role of the legislature to legislate.

“This puts it up to our politicians now.  There’s nothing left for them to hide behind; they need to get on with addressing this issue once and for all," Ailbhe added.

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Today marked the 5th annual March for Choice in Dublin City Centre.

Mothers, daughters, brothers, fathers, friends and even movie stars flooded the streets of the city as they set out in order for the Eight Amendment to be changed and for abortion to be legalised in Ireland.

And even with the downpour of rain and Dublin Bus on strike, the people of Ireland came out in their thousands.

Here, we take a look at the best reactions on social media to the day's event:

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